If there's one thing a guy doesn't want to hear in the gym, it's someone telling him he has the dreaded "dad bod." It means you're not in terrible shape, but your muscles lack tone and you've got enough extra body fat to survive in the Arctic in just a T-shirt. If you're a guy who's had this term directed at you, you might have laughed it off. Deep down inside though, it might have pissed you off. Time to shed that bod and get something you can be proud of.

A New Meaning of "Functional Training"

You might be one of those guys who kept up with his training, but put it all aside to have more time with the kids. That's very noble. But it shouldn't come at the expense of your physical fitness. Being fit means you can do more as a dad: You can crawl around on the floor with your kids when they're infants, play in the yard when they're toddlers, and shoot hoops with them when they're teenagers. These are some of the best reasons to get back in shape.

A New Meaning of Functional Training

Dads Need Both Strength and Endurance

The following workout plan includes a weekly weight training and cardio plan to help you move from where you are now to what may be the best shape you've ever been in. The weight training workouts you'll follow aren't long, but they're intense, with lots of supersets and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that'll help you burn a lot of calories fast.

As long as you keep your rest times to a minimum, these workouts shouldn't take longer than an hour to complete. So, fit these workouts in anytime—morning, noon, or night. What matters is that you follow the schedule and get all your workouts in.

Dad-Bod Transformer Workout

Day 1: Chest and Shoulders

While it's a great feeling for the kids to lay their heads on your chest or shoulder, you don't want them praising how soft you are. This workout, done properly, will start adding some serious tone to your upper body. Consider it a victory when they start asking for a pillow.

While its a great feeling for the kids to lay their heads on your chest or shoulder, you dont want them praising how soft you are.

Do your HIIT workout on an elliptical machine. Start with 2 minutes at a moderate pace. Then go hard for 30 seconds. Repeat this pattern for 6 rounds. It adds up to just 15 minutes, but it will be all you need if you really push it for those half-minute bursts.

Day 1: Chest and Shoulders
1
Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip
4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
2
Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets, 8, 10, 12 reps
3
Dips - Chest Version
3 sets, to failure
4
Side Lateral Raise
3 sets, 15, 12, 10 reps
5
Standing Low-Pulley Deltoid Raise
3 sets, 10, 12, 15 reps
6
Superset
Face Pull
3 sets, 15 reps
Reverse Machine Flyes
3 sets, 15 reps
7
Elliptical Trainer
1 set, 15 mins. (moderate pace, 30 sec. all-out pace)

Day 2: Legs

It is essential that you train legs hard—not just so you look good, but so you can move your body with power and efficiency. This leg workout will pound your legs into a pulp to get stronger and improve leg function.

It is essential that you train legs hard

The HIIT portion of the workout will be a 30/30/30 boxing drill on a heavy bag: 30 seconds of jabs, 30 seconds of combination punches, and 30 seconds of all out power. Rest for 90 seconds in between each round. Don't sit down between rounds, though. Instead, walk around and take deep breaths. Perform 6 rounds of this 18 minutes of "hard-hitting" cardio.

Day 2: Legs
1
Barbell Squat
4 sets, 20, 15, 12, 10 reps
2
Goblet Squat
3 sets, 10, 12, 15 reps
3
Leg Press
3 sets, 15 reps
4
Barbell Walking Lunge
3 sets, 15 reps (each leg)
5
Lying Leg Curls
3 sets, 15, 12, 10 reps
6
Pull Through
3 sets, 15 reps
7
Superset
Seated Calf Raise
3 sets, 20 reps
Calf Press
3 sets, 20 reps
8
Punches
30/30/30 boxing
1 set, 18 mins. (6 90-sec. rounds with 90 sec. rest in between)

Day 3: Active Rest

Rest, but don't vegetate. Take your kids to the park or go on a walk for an hour or so. Do something active with them so you can start to enjoy the fruits of your training labor.

Day 4: Back and Abs

It can't be just about the beach muscles. Getting rid of the dad bod stigma means improving your entire body—including your back. Achieve some width and thickness back there, and you'll inspire your whole family.

Of course, the abs are important too and need specific attention. As the saying goes, "abs are made in the kitchen," meaning that you need to lose body fat for your ab muscles to show through. But you still need to train them, so get to it!

Getting rid of the dad bod stigma means improving your entire body—including your back

Your Day 4 HIIT workout involves the battle rope. You can choose how you wave the rope, but make sure you give it your best effort for 30 seconds. Rest for the same amount of time in between, and repeat as many times as you can in 12 minutes.

Day 4: Back and Abs
1
Pullups
4 sets, to failure
2
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps
3
T-Bar Row with Handle
3 sets, 8, 10, 12 reps
4
Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)
3 sets, 15 reps
5
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
4 sets, 15 reps
6
Superset
Weighted Crunches
3 sets, 30 sec.
Plank
3 sets, 30 sec. (add weight for extra challenge)
7
Battling Ropes
1 set, 12 mins. (30 sec. with 30 sec. rest.)

Day 5: Arms

Another phrase just as popular as "dad bod" is "sun's out, guns out." The flexed arm is considered the standard sign of strength, so we're going to dedicate one day per week to help you lock and load those guns. You may be tempted to swing heavier weight. Don't. The best way to grow your arms is to use manageable weight, do slow reps, and focus on the biceps contraction that happens as you lift.

Another phrase just as popular as dad bod is suns out, guns out.

Your cardio for today will be wind sprints, so you have at least a fighting chance of keeping up with the young'uns. After you do a couple warm-up runs, sprint as hard as you can for about 20 seconds. Do this at a local football field or track, at a park, on a sidewalk, or in your own yard—any place you have room to build up some speed. Take about 30 seconds to walk back to the starting position and repeat. You're finished when you've done ten sprints.

Day 5: Arms
1
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps
2
Preacher Curl
3 sets, 8, 10, 12 reps
3
High Cable Curls
3 sets, 15 reps
4
Triceps Pushdown
3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps
5
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
3 sets, 8, 10, 12 reps
6
Diamond Push-Up
3 sets, to failure
7
Running, Treadmill
10 sets, 30 sec. (30-sec. rest in between)

Days 6 and 7

Use one of these days as a complete rest day, if you feel it's necessary. Tell your partner you'll get to the heavy chores tomorrow. On the next day, do some kind of activity that gets you moving. Just don't overdo it; doing so will hinder your ability to give next week's workouts your all.

About the Author

Roger Lockridge

Roger Lockridge

Bodybuilding is the reason I am who I am today. I am more confident in myself, actually looking for the next challenge, and inspiring others.

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